The history of Roman Africa begins in 146 BC with the destruction of Carthage and the establishment of the province of Africa in the most fertile part of the Carthaginian Empire. The new province covered about 5000 square miles (17,172 square kilometers) of the northern part of modern Tunisia. A praetor governed the area from his headquarters at Utica. The Romans inherited a thriving agriculture developed by the Carthaginians. The climate was hospitable. Wheat and barley were the most important cereals; wine and olive oil were also produced and there were various fruit trees.
The city occupies the slopes of a hill in a fertile grain producing area about 50 kilometers to the south of Tunis. Originally a settlement of mercenary soldiers after the fall of Carthage, it was raised to a municipium by Hadrian (117-138), and to a colony during the rein of Commodus (177-192). The chief public buildings and the most beautiful homes date from this period. After the crisis of the Empire during the third century, Thuburbo saw a rebirth in the fourth century; but as imperial authority declined the city became a mere village.
House of the Palms (Maison des Palmes)
The house of the Palms was located to the NW of the forum. A semicircular basin was installed at a later date over the mosaic in the NW portico at the edge of what was perhaps a small garden (Plan View, Fig. 1).
Early 3rd century CE
- Alexander, M.A., Ben Abed, A. and Besrour, S., Corpus des mosaïques de Tunisie, Thuburbo Majus, Les mosaïques de la région du Forum, V. II, fasc.1, INA, Tunis, 1980, pp. 115-27, plan 25-26. (worldcat)
- Ben Abed-Ben Khader, A., Corpus des Mosaïques de Tunisie, Thuburbo Majus, Les mosaïques de la région Ouest, V. II, fasc.3, INA, Tunis, 1987.(worldcat)
- Bullo, S., Ghedini, F., Amplissimae atque ornatissimae domus: l’edilizia residenziale nelle città della Tunisia romana, Rome, Edizioni Quasar, 2003, pp.237-239. (worldcat)
21 Apr 2021